The annual living wage research report by KPMG, published today, estimates that more than 600,000 workers receive less than the living wage in the North West, which is just under one in four workers (24 per cent).
This is an increase from the same time last year when the figure was one in five, or 21 per cent. The new living wage rate will be announced later today, with an increase expected from the current living wage rate of £7.65.
Commenting on the report, TUC Regional Secretary for the North West, Lynn Collins, said:“People go to work and expect to earn enough to live on. For those paid below the living wage, they are not getting a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work.
Low pay is blighting the lives of hundreds of thousands of families across the region. And the consequence is we have to spend on tax credits to subsidise low paying employers and we bring in less in tax.
“The fact is there are employers out there across the North West who can afford to pay living wages, but aren’t.
It is now time for all responsible employers to commit to adopting this standard, which enables workers to earn just enough to be able to live a decent life.
“We have the wrong kind of recovery with the wrong kind of jobs – we need to create far more living wage jobs, with decent hours and permanent contracts, something that we will continue to campaign for.”
There are two events taking place next week that we are involved with to mark Living Wage Week, which runs from November 2-8.
The main one is the North West launch of the Living Wage rate, 8.30-11.30am today, at the Chapman Building, University of Salford, with talks from Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart, trade unions and many other employers who pay the living wage including Salford University, local small business Salut Wines, Nationwide and YMCA.
It also features the launch of a report from Centre for Local Economic Strategies about how local authorities can promote the living wage as employers, influencers and as drivers of the local economy, and how devolution of powers to local authorities could be coupled with economic benefit and strategic commitments to promote the living wage to all.